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Tele Education – School for student leadership
More and more, Telstra is working with schools across Australia to deliver solutions that don’t just overcome the tyranny of distance but also serve to enrich the education experience. Telstra’s TeleEducation, a complete video conferencing package that is easy to deploy and use has already yielded many benefits for educational institutions such as the School for Student Leadership in Victoria. With three campuses spread across the more remote parts of the state, the solution has improved learning opportunities by providing access to a broader curriculum and fostering cross campus collaboration, the latter not just amongst students but teachers and administrative staff as well.
Mark Reeves - Principal - School for Student Leadership
School for Student Leadership is a Year Nine leadership program for students in Victorian government schools. They come and spend nine weeks with us doing a leadership, outdoor education, personal development, and training program. We have three campuses: one at Dinner Plain in the Victorian Alps; the second campus, the Snowy River campus, is near the mouth of the Snowy River in Marlo; and the third is in the Western District of Victoria in a place called Noorat. Year nine is at that age of transition when students are going through that change from being a child to an adult. And we know from a lot of our research, that to actually go away from the support of family, the usual things in life, and to interact with the natural environment, is really, really formative and important to make these programs successful.
Telstra is the data provider for all Victorian government schools, and in these remote locations, to have high-speed data connections through optic fibre, actually made the schools functional. The Tele-Education solution that we have, comprises the Polycom infrastructure and the Telstra Next IP® network, and we use that for video conferencing. The network is hosted and managed by Telstra and what that means is we have high-quality solution, the sound and picture quality is fantastic and we have great technical support when it’s required.
The Tele-Education solution has opened up a number of new possibilities for us. On one level it’s about students. Secondly it’s about our staff, being able to interact with each other and have a consistent contemporary curriculum, and thirdly, it’s about administratively running a school that’s so far flung. It certainly enables us to maximise our expertise. We can actually have a guest speaker at one campus, and they can deliver live to a campus, but also using the video conferencing solution to the other campuses as well.
Jake - Student - School for Student Leadership
Using video conferencing is different to a phone call because, you can see their body language and when you can see someone's body language it gives a whole new
meaning to what they're saying rather than just voice.
Olivia & Beth - Students - School for Student Leadership
It’s a really good way to, like, talk to them and...
...get to know them and see who, what they look like
Russell Shem - Principal - Alpine School
The skills that students gain from using video conferencing are communication skills; they develop a greater sense of self-confidence and we see that predominantly over the term.
Video communication is a way of the future because, like, instead of going to business meetings, say, across the world or whatever, they'll just be able to link up.
And I like the fact that it’s immediate rather than have to look at the logistics of travel, several days of travel and then accommodation and then away and then coming back.
So productivity has definitely been able to increase, because our staff are sitting down having a meeting, face-to-face, and engage at a much deeper level. The Tele-education solution that we have has saved us in excess of $75,000 a year in travel costs, let alone the CO2 emissions that that would have entailed as well. In terms of productivity, we estimate that we’ve saved about 1,500 hours a year, or 270 days, in productivity, through using the Tele-education solution.
I’d recommend this videoconferencing solution to, to any school, whether they’re remote or in the city, because it provides a connection with not just each other, but the whole world; instantaneously, in a stable, fast, reliable way. It’s just fantastic. And young people love it. They’re actually crying out for it.